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Polari (or alternatively Palare, from parlare, "to talk" in Italian language) is a form of cant slang, used in the gay subculture in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s.

Polari is a mixture of Lingua Franca, Italian, Romany and Cockney back slang: common words pronounced as if spelled backwards. For example: 'ecaf' for face, which then became 'eek' in Polari. Polari was used in London fish markets and the gay subculture[?] in Britain in the 1950s and 1960s, becoming more widely known from its use by two camp characters, Julian and Sandy, in Round the Horne, a popular BBC radio show.

Some words from polari have entered mainstream slang, such as "naff". This was brought to popular attention in the television sitcom Porridge in the 1970s, which employed it as an alternative to expletives which were not at the time considered broadcastable. Some people regard it was an acronym referring to heterosexual men as "Not Available For Fucking". However since it was previously spelt naph and doesn't refer to heterosexuals, this is unlikely.

See also; Cockney rhyming slang

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